We report that receptors for vitamin D exist in distinct regions of the heart in female and male mice, predominantly in the right atrium where most of the cardial atrial natriuretic peptide (ANF) is produced. Tritiated 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-D3, vitamin D, soltriol) and ANF are colocalized in nuclei and cytoplasm respectively in identical cardiomyocytes. Changes of ANF tissue and blood levels under dietary deficiency and treatment with 1,25-D3 suggest direct genomic actions of vitamin D on myoendocrine cells of the atrium for the regulation of ANF manufacture and secretion. These results were obtained by combining thaw-mount autoradiography with immunocytochemistry using tritiated 1,25-D3 and an antibody against rat ANF. This antibody was also used in a radioimmunoassay to determine atrial natriuretic factor in plasma, atria and ventricles of normal or vitamin D-deficient mice.